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Final GDP and Tertiary Industry Activity   are the major activities this week. Here is an outlook for the major events that will move the yen, and an updated technical analysis for USD/JPY.

Japan’s steep fall after the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis may change direction in the very near future according to government economists’ forecasts hoping for a “V” shaped reclamation. This encouraging view comes after a boost in manufacturing output in April and the rapid recovery of supply chains which will jumpstart economic recovery.

USD/JPY daily chart with support and resistance lines marked. Click to enlarge:

Let’s start:

  1. Leading Indicators: Tuesday, 6:00. The leading composite index indicting the condition of the economy three months in advance decreased to 100.1 revised from 99.5 after reaching 104.0 in February. This is the first drop in five months. A further decrease to 96.8 is forecasted.
  2. Bank Lending: Wednesday, 0:50 lending decreased by 0.9% in April from a year earlier continuing its drop for the 17th consecutive month. The  BOJ’s loan scheme intended to encourage industries’ growth reached a cumulative lending  of 60 billion yen ($740 million). The 4th part of the loan scheme disbursed on  June  8 will increase cumulative  lending  to 2.94 trillion yen. Another decrease is expected now.
  3. Economy Watchers Sentiment: Wednesday, 6:00. Japan’s service sector confidence increased to 28.3 in April, following a plunge to 27.7 in the previous month due to the March earthquake and tsunami. The improvement was achieved after attempts to repair supply chains, control a nuclear crisis and prevent further power shortage. A continued rise to 33.3 is predicted.
  4. Final GDP: Thursday, 0:50. As a direct reaction to the earthquake and tsunami disaster GDP lost  0.9% in the first-quarter economic output according to preliminary GDP data. Nevertheless, capital spending figures bring some encouragement and may improve the outcome of the revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures. Final GDP is expected to decrease 0.8%.
  5. Household Confidence: Thursday, 6:00. A further plunge in Japanese consumers sentiment occurred in April after the index dropped to 33.1 from 38.6 in March below the 36.7 expected by analysts. However economists expect improvement in confidence after the Golden Week holiday. A rise to 34.7 in Household Confidence is predicted.
  6. Prelim Machine Tool Orders: Thursday, 7:00. Machine Tool Orders shrank from 73.9% in April 2010 to 32.3% in April 2011. The April orders showed a relatively small y/y rise because of a surge of 220.9% in the same month last year.
  7. Tertiary Industry Activity: Friday, 0:50. Japanese service industry activity dropped 6.0% percent in March above analyst expectations for a 5.4% decrease impacted by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. The decrease was led by retail trade, personal services communications, transportation, accommodations, research, real estate and health care. A gain of 2.8% is expected now.

*All times are GMT

USD/JPY Technical Analysis:

The pair made a move higher and managed to cross the 81.33 line (discussed last week), but this move didn’t last too long. The pair fell and bounced off the round 80 line.

Technical levels from top to bottom:

84.50 capped the pair at the end of 2010 and is quite far at the moment.  84 was a lower peak before the March 11 catastrophe and minor resistance now.

83.30 is another weak line after capping the pair just before the disaster at the beginning of March and also working as support a few months earlier.  82.87 was the trough before the BOJ intervention in September 2010 and also played an important role in recent weeks as the peak of a recovery attempt.

82.20 capped the pair in a very stubborn way a few weeks ago and remains a strong line now.  81,33 proved to be a distinctive line separating ranges – it was a double top three weeks ago and now works as resistance, though weaker than earlier.

80.20 cushioned falls at the beginning of May for several days and is the immediate line of support once again.  79.75 is the historic low of 1995 and played a critical role when the pair collapsed in March.

It’s followed by 79.16 which is minor resistance as well. The last line is 78.27 – both were significant before the big intervention.

I am neutral on USD/JPY.

In the ugly contest between the Japanese economy that is still devastated from the earthquake and the rapidly slowing US economy (As seen in the Non-Farm Payrolls), range trading is more likely, with a tendency. More drops of USD/JPY may be limited by an intervention.

Further reading: